2014 Paul Mellon Lecture

Saving Yangon’s Historic City Center: Accomplishments and Challenges; An illustrated talk presented by Dr. Thant Myint-U

Once one of the world’s greatest trading cities and known as “The Garden City of the East,” Yangon offers a rich cultural landscape and the largest collection of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century colonial architecture in Southeast Asia. Following Myanmar’s emergence from isolation, a rush of development now threatens the country’s former capital city. Thant Myint-U will discuss the progress made to preserve one of the most spectacular early twentieth-century urban landscapes in Asia, and the challenges to come.

Yangon Historic City Center is on the 2014 World Monuments Watch. To learn more, visit wmf.org/watch.

Dr. Thant Myint-U is a historian and author, and the founder and chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust. He is also a special advisor to the Myanmar Peace Centre and a member of the (Myanmar) National Economic and Social Advisory Council.

The grandson of U Thant, the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, Thant Myint-U was born New York City and educated at Harvard and Cambridge universities. He has taught at Trinity College, Cambridge and served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations. He is the author of three books—The Making of Modern Burma, The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma, and Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award. Thant Myint-U was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013 for his work helping to shape Yangon’s future by preserving its past.

The Paul Mellon Lecture series is supported by The Paul Mellon Education Fund and the Paul Mellon Fund for Architectural Preservation in Great Britain.

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